Verdicts and Settlements:
$400,000 Settlement For Woman Assaulted As A Result of Negligent Security
Stavros Sitinas negotiated a $400,000 settlement for a 42-year-old woman who was seriously injured during an assault that occurred on the grounds of the apartment complex where she lived. As a result of the attack, the client sustained facial fractures of her orbital bone and nose, as well as injuries to her ear. The assailants were never found.
Mr. Sitinas sued the owner of the apartment complex as well as the managing agent, alleging a breach of their duty to provide to the plaintiff reasonably safe premises via proper security measures. He also claimed a failure to properly maintain the building, in that the front door locks were often broken, which allowed local drug dealers access to the building's common areas, where they subsequently set up shop for their illicit trade. The plaintiff identified her assailants as drug dealers who did not live in the building, but frequently congregated there.
The defendants denied the claims of negligent security and asserted that they, in fact, acted reasonably by hiring an outside security company to periodically patrol the buildings and grounds of the complex. They also claimed they responded reasonably to incidents of broken door locks, repairing them as quickly as they could. Moreover, they claimed that the plaintiff was not a victim of random violence but actually an intended target by these assailants and, therefore, no amount of security would have prevented the assault, since sooner or later the assailants would have found the plaintiff and settled their score with her. If true, this could have been fatal to the claims. However, through diligent and thorough investigation, Mr. Sitinas was able to uncover evidence suggesting that the security measures employed by the defendants were wholly ineffective. On several occasions, the security guards themselves were attacked.
The parties agreed to attend a mediation session in an attempt to settle the matter prior to trial. After several hours of negotiations, the matter was resolved by way of a $400,000 settlement in favor of the plaintiff.